EU was ready to take away Hungary's veto rights if it had not conceded on issue of Ukraine accession talks

Olha Stefanishyna, Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine, claims that 26 EU member states were considering depriving Hungary of its right to veto had it blocked the decision to start negotiations with Ukraine.

Source: Stefanishyna on the air of the national 24/7 newscast, as reported by European Pravda

Details: Stefanishyna said that EU leaders had “a large number of options and alternatives” that would allow them to reach a consensus on the issues that were brought to the summit – from finances to compromises regarding the states of the Western Balkans.

“And we were clearly aware: if this compromise had not been found, it would have meant that Prime Minister Orbán has a different motivation than what he says publicly. But the decision was made,” Stefanishyna added.

“I want to say that even if yesterday’s situation had been more critical than it actually was, 26 EU member states were ready to deprive Hungary of the right to vote. This is an official procedure, it has not been resorted to even once, but it is there. I think this has also played a role,” she said.

According to Stefanishyna, Orbán was not dissatisfied after the summit.

“The prime minister is well off because he has achieved his goals. €10 billion for Hungary were unblocked, and [the EU] listened to the prime minister, everyone tried to please him, held meetings with him,” she explained.

Background: 

  • On 14 December, the EU leaders supported the start of negotiations between Ukraine and Moldova.

  • Even though the decision was being blocked by Hungary for a long time, its veto was neutralised when Hungary’s PM Viktor Orbán was asked to leave the room during the voting and thus abstain from voting.

  • Orbán himself later claimed that he agreed to give up his veto right at the start of Ukraine’s EU accession talks since he would have many more opportunities to block this process.

Read also: Orbán’s Defeat or Victory for Ukraine. Why Is EU Summit Historic?

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